SphinxConnect > 2017 Schedule > SESSION: Master Class with Joseph Conyers and Lara St. John


SATURDAY 2/11/17
9:00 – 9:50am
Esquire Boardroom




Assistant Principal Bass, The Philadelphia Orchestra; Founder, Project 440

Joseph H. Conyers, was appointed assistant principal bassist of the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2010. He joined the Philadelphia Orchestra after tenures with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony (MI) where he served as principal bass, and Santa Fe Opera (NM). Described by the Grand Rapids Press as “a lyrical musician who plays with authenticity that transcends mere technique,” Conyers has performed with many orchestras as soloist including the Grand Rapids Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Alabama Symphony, and the Savannah Philharmonic. Recently added to the artist roster of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Conyers has performed as chamber musician internationally in numerous prestigious chamber music festivals.  A recipient of many awards and honors including most recently the Young Alumni Award from his alma mater, The Curtis Institute of Music, Conyers graduated with his bachelors degree studying with both Hal Robinson, principal bass of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and double bass soloist, Edgar Meyer.  Conyers’ relationship with the Sphinx Organization began when he was semi-finalist in the inaugural competition in 1998.  He has since played with Sphinx Virtuosi in Carnegie Hall, served on the jury panel, played as a member of the Sphinx Symphony, and was the 2nd prize Laureate in 2004 Competition.

A formidable advocate for music education, Conyers is Executive Director and a founding member of Project 440 (project440.org) – an organization that educates and empowers young musicians to serve their communities through music. Additionally, Conyers is the newly appointed Music Director of the famed All City Orchestra of Philadelphia (allcityphiladelphia.org).  All City Orchestra, just on the heels of its first international tour to Italy, showcases the best young musicians of the School District of Philadelphia.  Project 440 which serves as the strategic partner for All City works extensively with the 400 + students of the program (includes band and choir) providing its curriculum in college and career preparedness, entrepreneurial and leadership training, as well as community and engagement and interactive performance.  Conyers serves on the board of directors of The American String Teachers Association as artist representative, the Board of Overseers for the Curtis Institute of Music, and the National Advisory Board for the Atlanta Music Project (GA).




Violin Soloist and Founder of Ancalagon Records

Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by the New York Times. She has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and with the Boston Pops, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Symphony, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Camerata Ireland, Amsterdam Symphony, Brazilian Symphony, Sao Paulo Symphony, China Philharmonic, Hong Kong Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, and the orchestras of Brisbane, Adelaide and Auckland among many others.

The Los Angeles Times wrote “Lara St. John happens to be a volcanic violinist with a huge, fabulous tone that pours out of her like molten lava. She has technique to burn and plays at a constant high heat.”

Lara created her record own label, Ancalagon, in 1999, and has recorded with the Royal Philharmonic, the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and The Knights, with which she won the Juno award in 2011 for her Mozart album. Of her Bach Six Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo, American Record Guide wrote: “I simply don’t know where else you can go to hear Bach played at this level of artistry. Once again she eclipses her competition”

Lara began playing the violin when she was two years old. She made her first appearance as soloist with orchestra at age four, and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon when she was 10. She toured Spain, France, Portugal and Hungary at ages 12 and 13, entered the Curtis Institute at 13, and spent her first summer at Marlboro three years later. Her teachers have included Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus.

She performs on the 1779 “Salabue” Guadagnini thanks to an anonymous donor and Heinl & Co. of Toronto.


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